For Immediate Release - April 09, 2009

GOVERNOR PATRICK AND CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ANNOUNCE $163 MILLION IN FEDERAL TITLE I FUNDS FOR HIGH-NEED SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Massachusetts Recovery Plan and investments in education to promote improvement in teaching and learning efforts for students

HOLYOKE- Thursday, April 9, 2009 - As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that $163 million in additional federal education Title I funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will go to many high-poverty school districts in Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick has committed $620 million in federal stimulus funds for K-12 education, special education and higher education programs and services. He also recently announced an additional $300 million of low-interest college loans for students.

"Title I is a vital federal education funding source that helps our neediest school districts provide educational and other services for students," said Governor Patrick. "In these difficult budget times, we must maintain our support to help promote improvement in schools so that all students receive an education that prepares them for a future of success."

Governor Patrick announced today that Massachusetts will receive an additional $163,391,186 in Title I federal grants to supplement the amount the Commonwealth currently receives annually ($233,353,571 in 2008). Title I funds are targeted to help the districts and schools in the Commonwealth that serve the highest concentration of low-income students.

The funds will help districts retain specialist teachers that help struggling readers, purchase books, technology, and other instructional materials that help students who are behind their peers receive the support and instruction they need. Additionally, the funds will be used to help teachers obtain training to better educate English Language Learners, and others with special learning needs.

The first half of the Title I funds will be distributed in July and the remaining funds will be allocated in the fall. A total of 258 school districts, regional technical vocational schools and charter schools are receiving this second set of funds. The list of districts to receive these funds is attached. Title I funds are distributed to school districts based on a federal formula that assesses need as measured by the number of high-poverty students served.

Governor Patrick praised members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation for their role in securing this vital funding.

"This investment is being directed where it's needed most and where it will have the biggest impact - in our state's high-risk schools. It will help tailor learning to the unique needs of our most vulnerable students giving them the educational tools they need to be successful. I am grateful Governor Patrick is working to ensure that Massachusetts students are prepared to compete and win in today's global economy," said Senator Kerry.

"In crafting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress boosted funding for Title I over and above annual amounts so that, even as local cities and towns grapple with challenging budgets, students who are in most need of extra support get the resources and classroom attention they need to obtain a quality education," said Congressman John Tierney.

"We have been working hard to get additional federal funding to our cities and towns and I'm happy that Massachusetts will now receive an additional $163 million in federal funding for its high-need school districts," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said. "These Title I Funds will give a real boost to cities and towns throughout Massachusetts that are struggling with meeting basic funding needs in the midst of the current economic downturn."

"Our communities can use these funds to help prevent teacher layoffs as well as to hire additional teachers and broaden curriculums where necessary," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "Most importantly, the support our schools are receiving will help to ensure that students' academic achievement and future competitiveness are not compromised during this economic downturn."

Education investments are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

Governor Patrick played a key role in developing the federal recovery law's State Stabilization Fund that is now being used to shore up state education funding as well as to prevent layoffs and cutbacks in other critical areas of government during the recession.

Over the next two years, Massachusetts will receive an estimated $1.88 billion to support early education, K-12 education and higher education. For more information about what the federal recovery law means for Massachusetts, please visit www.mass.gov/recovery.

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